Hundreds of people are crowded onto the widest part of Tuvalu’s capital atoll waiting for a double hit of a tsunami surge and a king tide this afternoon.
Across the Pacific on Rarotonga a Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules had to make a dawn take off and patrol the island waiting for a tsunami.
For Funafuti, just five metres above sealevel and less than 500 metres wide, this is among their worst possible scenarios.
The coordinator of the National Disaster Committee in Tuvalu, Sumeo Silu, told Stuff a short time ago that they had no major disturbances on the island so far.
Tuvalu, with a population of around 12,000, received a tsunami alert last night.
“We told the people as quickly as we could.
“We advised them to come to the widest part of the island, and to come the double floor building,” he said.
“The people have been very responsible.”
They were now concerned that the tsunami surge was continuing into the afternoon with a king tide due at 5pm local.
King or spring tides are their highest tides and even in normal times, sea water floods much of the atoll, including the aiport.
Mr Silu said they would remain on alert until the tide passes.
Life is returning to normal in the Cook Islands.
An alert rang out in the early hours of the morning and people fled to high land. Many gathered at Rarotonga’s hospital on the hill to wait and watch.
The RNZAF was in the Cook Islands to distribute aid after recent cyclones, took to the sky with its crew on tsunami lookout.
The tsunami was expected to hit at 8.15am. The Hercules was in the air from 7.30am to 9.15am and circled the island at least nine times.
About a dozen boats were in the sea at the time.
The warning was lifted by 9.15am when the tsunami hadn’t hit.
People have now returned to their homes and shops are starting to open.
Within an hour of circling the island looking out for tidal swells, the air force crew was enjoying a hearty breakfast at its hotel by the sea.
In Tonga, hundreds of people in Nuku’alofa fled inland and camped out on the lawns of Mata-ki-‘Eua, the multi million dollar residency of King George Tupou V.
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